“…we still have two more branches, and two out of three ain’t bad.”
--Jack Nicholson, in his role as US President in the campy movie Mars Attack, after the US Capitol was destroyed.
|The Queen didn't wave back to us|
Well, half of the Ron & Kathy duo are home, and one out of two ain’t bad, but it could be more fun if both of us were here together. We had a nice breakfast with Shanti and Alan in London last Sunday morning, then started our 18 hour journey home. It was nice to be back, but 36 hours later, Kathy was back on a plane to Burbank, CA for eight days for her volunteer role as a board member of the Assistance League.
We're not complaining--as life is so good for both of us, even if we don't get to experience everything together. Salem is so nice in the summer, and I'm luxuriating in all its delights. The annual art fair and festival is a the quintessential essence of summer in Salem. That and the Saturday Market, bicycling, barbecues, other festivals, our fabric of friends, and everything else that makes this such a great place.
|Alsace France? No, 11 miles from home by bike Friday|
|Their flat on top floor|
|Shanti & Kathy beneath the streets of London|
Our last two days in London were quite a contrast from the rural and laid-back countryside. London is so cosmopolitan. Unlike the Cotswolds, the place was alive with young people of all ethnicites. Like New York City, it takes a lot of energy and money to live there. So much hustle and bustle, but no matter what, the people we encountered were so polite and helpful. The Greek crisis, ISIS, and the government's new budget totally dominated the news, and it was interesting to get the British perspective on them.
We enjoyed walking neighborhoods, seeing a few sites, riding the bus and tube, and above all, hanging out with Shanti and Alan. We got to experience the Uber driving service first hand, and we must say, it is nothing short of impressive! The drivers were all interesting people from all over the world, even though they have lived in London for years. All of them make more money now than they did previously as bus drivers, Mc Donalds managers, or other occupations.
|High Street in St. Johns area|
|Restroom door in Chinatown|
Shanti and Alan's flat warming party was really fun. The kitchen seemed smaller than the one in our Airstream, but by London standards, it was a large flat, especially the living room area. The party felt like we were at the United Nations. Their friends were all so intelligent and interesting. I was definitely the oldest, and probably the dumbest one there.
What's next? Kathy comes home on Wednesday :) That leaves us with two weeks of a beautiful July in Salem together. Then we're off to Boston to see Skyler, her boyfriend Spencer, and their dogs. Spencer will be singing with the Boston Pops at Tanglewood, so we can hardly wait. We hope that all of you are also enjoying a beautiful summer.
|Summer sunset from our deck|